An annual study by a prominent think tank has found dissatisfaction about the rule of law in Hong Kong has doubled this year.
The study – commissioned by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre – surveyed a thousand people in October and November, and more than half of the people who responded to the survey conducted by the Chinese University said they were dissatisfied with how the rule of law is being implemented.
The 52 percent who gave a thumbs down this year was almost double the 27 percent who felt the same way last year.
The survey found that respondents who were aged 55 or above and attained primary education or below generally gave higher ratings regarding the implementation of the rule of law.
Most interviewees ranked judicial independence and preventing the government from abusing its powers as the most crucial aspects of the rule of law.
In the previous two years, when respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement 'breaking the law for reasons of social justice is acceptable', nearly 50 percent had said no. But this changed this year with more respondents agreeing (39.8 percent) than those disagreeing (31 percent).
The centre's chairman, Lau Ming-wai, said the unsatisfactory perception of the rule of law could damage the city's economic development, as foreign capital and personnel may be less willing to stay in the city.
Lau said the government has to act now to salvage the situation.